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Ishrat family says intimidated by cops,seeks govt protection

THE family of Ishrat Jahan accused Intelligence Bureau (IB),Gujarat Police and politicians on Thursday of making repeated attempts to intimidate them.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai |
July 12, 2013 12:53:17 am

THE family of Ishrat Jahan accused Intelligence Bureau (IB),Gujarat Police and politicians on Thursday of making repeated attempts to intimidate them. The family said some people,who claimed to be police,knocked at their house door in the early hours of Thursday.

Activist Shabnam Hashmi said she learned Wednesday that there was a “grave threat” to the family and its supporters and informed Mumbra police. Two constables were subsequently posted outside the residence of the family in Kausa,Mumbra.

“While leaving for his police station,one of the constables told us the second would be outside the building throughout the night. However,at around 2.30 am,four-five unknown men knocked repeatedly on the door of the Mumbra residence,” said Rauf Lala,Ishrat’s uncle.

Her sister Musarrat Jahan said,“The men kept demanding that we open the door and asked who all were inside the house. When we asked who they were,they said policemen. Which policeman will knock on the door of a family of mostly women at 2.30 am?” Lala claimed when he sent some people to check on the family,the constable who was supposed to be outside was nowhere to be seen. “People at the police station said they had not sent anyone.”

Hashmi said during a recent trip to Haryana,a vehicle followed the Ishrat family car. “It turned out to be a local IB vehicle.”

She said,“Till now,the probe was against Gujarat police officers. Now,it has moved to IB officers and politicians and these attempts are occurring. Policemen under investigation should be dismissed as soon as possible. Till they occupy the posts,they will make such attempts.”

Thane Police Commissioner K P Raghuvanshi said he was not aware of any such incident and that no complaint had been made. “The constable was very much outside the house.”

Lala said considering the intimidation attempts,he had applied for a gun licence a year ago. “The attempts have been on since 2011,when a car with Gujarat number plates was seen parked near Ishrat’s house for a long time. When confronted,the driver fled and the car number turned out to be fake. In June this year,there was an attempt on the family when they were returning to Mumbra from Gujarat. The police have registered an accident case but one of the accused,Firoz Kalia,is a sharpshooter.”

Raghuvanshi said,“We rejected his (gun licence) application on merit.”

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